NARRAGANSETT, R.I. (WPRI) – On a hot summer Sunday on the last day of July, Rhode Islanders no doubt welcomed a free pass to the beach where they’d likely be trying to find some relief from the heat!

Governor Dan McKee signed an executive order this past week continuing the three-decade-old tradition of Governor’s Bay Day, which offers Rhode Islanders a free day at all state surf beaches. 

The tradition was started by former Governor Ed DiPrete 33 years ago as a way of encouraging residents to enjoy the Ocean State’s 400 miles of coastline, as well as raise awareness of the vulnerability of Narragansett Bay. 

Free parking is offered this day at Charlestown Breachway, East Beach in Charlestown, Roger Wheeler State Beach, Salty Brine, Scarborough North and South Beaches in Narragansett, East Matunuck Beach in South Kingstown, and Misquamicut State Beach in Westerly. 

In addition to free admission to the beaches, RIPTA also offers free roundtrip service to them on the Route 66 Express Beach Bus. 

To draw attention to this service, Governor McKee and Lieutenant Governor Sabina Matos planned on taking the bus from Providence to Roger Wheeler State Beach. 

Governor’s Bay Day also allows people to saltwater fish for recreational purposes without having to buy a license. In fact, it’s free all weekend from Friday, July 29 to Sunday July 31. 

“I invite experienced anglers to consider taking a beginner out and helping them cast their first line in Narragansett Bay this weekend,” said Governor McKee.

“Promoting equal access to our shores is a uniquely Rhode Island value. I encourage all Rhode Islanders to take advantage of the opportunities that Governor`s Bay Day affords to access facilities and activities that might not always be conveniently available to everyone,” added Lieutenant Governor Sabina Matos, reminding people to be careful by the water as well.